Songwriter's Guild Backs RIAA vs. XM
September 5, 2006 at 9:23 AM (PT)
In a move that threatens not just satellite broadcasters, but ALL broadcasters, the SONGWRITER'S GUILD has filed an amicus brief in support of the RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION of AMERICA (RIAA) it its legal battle with XM SATELLITE RADIO regarding the recording capabilities built into some XM radios.
The Guild characterizes the radios, which have the ability to record programming, as an "illegal download service disguised in broadcast radio clothing." The RIAA's lawsuit seeks additional payments from the satcaster, while XM will likely refer to the AUDIO HOME RECORDING ACT (AHRA) in its defense.
The 14 year old AHRA was originally designed to compensate rights holders from reproduced recordings made on digital audio tape - the only medium available at that time - but it has subsequently served as the framework for RIAA agreements pertaining to mp3 players, such as 1999's RIAA vs. DIAMOND MULTIMEDIA agreement, which let to the proliferation of a new generation of portable music devices, including the iPOD.